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One can look at this existential question from different angles.
If the spouse does not know, that person is living a lie. Not one they've caused but one they are in because of the cheating partner.
While the spouse believes that their partner loves and respects them, the opposite is happening. Where there is love, trust and respect, cheating should not be taking place.
That to an extent hints that the other person is self serving- doing what they want without carrying about their partner. Keeping this behavior secretive or comming out and admitting it, is affecting the marriage.
Sooner or later, there would be subtle changes within the marriage. It would not function as a unit.
Deceit can make the person who is unaware of the cheating of their partner, believe that they're living in a harmonious marriage. This is conning.
If the cheating partner had withdrawn respect and affection (true love) the marriage is a lie (unless the two partners have a mutual understanding that their relationship is open)
The reason why you may have not found info/research on this is that if the behavior is secretive, it won't be possible to study it. The researchers would need a control group to compare their findings to and without these participants, there can't be a valid conclusion as to the effects of this behavior.
It's basic because there is lack of information from both parties (which, is something presented during face to face counseling) The secrecy can affect both partners. In this case, it is unknown what emotional and psychological effect it has on the one who has to keep a fake persona w. his spouse (stress, anxiety, mood changes, substance abuse, sociopathic tendencies, etc) I've opted out so other clinicians can give you specifics.
Thank you for your input. I am the other woman. His wife and I have met and she's had suspicions her husband and I may be involved, but he's denied it and she hasn't pursued it. And the years pass.
She is controlling and insecure, but they otherwise seem to have a happy marriage. She's expressed jealousy of me because I'm considerably more attractive, and younger. I share that not to sound boastful, but because it's likely pertinent. I've encountered women threatened by me, as I am also educated and fiancially secure.
It's not my intention to cause anguish, which is why I've posed this question. Is it possible that I'm not "taking" away from her? Or more likely to do so, as the relationship endures? Please share your thoughts regarding that.
P.S. He and I work together and grew close, slowly over time. It's not just sex. He is not cold and without empathy. We've simply grown close, share the same profession, and develped love for one another. There are no expectations for this relationship to lead to marriage. It's not practical for numerous reasons.